• Full-year pre-tax profits jump 181% to £8.2m
  • Sales in year to June 26 up 12% to £91.1m
  • Seven new stores opened and five more planned by Christmas
  • Retailer listed on AIM in May

Hotel Chocolat has posted soaring full-year profits and plans to open five more stores before Christmas.

The retailer, which floated on London’s AIM in May, said today pre-tax profits hit £8.2m in the year to June 26, up from £2.9m in the prior year.

Hotel Chocolat incurred £2.6m in exceptional charges relating to its acquisition of Hotel Chocolat Estates Limited, in Saint Lucia, and costs of listing on AIM.

Total sales rose 12% to £91.1m in the period. A like-for-like sales figure was not disclosed.

The chocolatier and retailer’s co-founder and boss Angus Thirlwell said the business has made “good progress with our three strategic priorities of investing further in our British chocolate manufacturing operations, growing our store estate and developing our digital offering”.

In early trading today the group’s shares rose 7%.

Hotel Chocolat opened seven new stores in the period, bringing its total store estate to 83. Leases have been signed on five more stores, which are due to open before Christmas, the retailer said.

Thirlwell added: “I am very pleased with our performance since we were admitted to trading on AIM in May this year.

“Our plans for the peak winter season are well set and I am confident that our Christmas ranges will be our best ever, as customers continue to appreciate our “more cocoa, less sugar” approach throughout all our categories. I look forward to further progress in the year ahead.”